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AP Lang: Logos

Intro to logos
by

Santiago Rodarte

on 18 November 2016

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Transcript of AP Lang: Logos

Arguments Based on Facts and Reason
Logos
Spock:
"
Logic and practical information do not seem to apply here."
McCoy:

"You admit that?"
Spock:

"To deny the facts would be illogical Doctor."
- from Star Trek episode, "A Piece of the Action"
HOWEVER, we're inclined to test the facts against our feelings or opinions and against the ethos of those making the appeal.
Most of us respect appeals to logos:
facts, evidence, and reason
1. Hard evidence: facts, clues, statistics, testimonies, witnesses.
2 Types:
2. Reason and "
common sense
"
But, what is "common sense"?
People today prefer arguments based on
facts and reason
to those grounded in reason (common sense).
Providing Hard Evidence
1. List all the claims it makes.
2. What is the poster's point?
3. How does it make that point?
4. Who is the target?
5. Who is it's audience?
6. Group: does/not the poster present an appeal to logic?
Two Examples
Adlai Stevenson at UN 1962
Hard Evidence
Pattern and weight of evidence
Powell at the UN 2003
We want "hard evidence"
DNA
We have great faith in claims that can be:
counted, measured, photographed, or analyzed, than . . .
those that can be defended with "
words
"
HOWEVER,

factual evidence takes many forms - it depends on the type of argument you want to make.
So - consider what would be "appropriate evidence"
Wilson
(check handout) eviscerates Lingren's original argument with 50 meticulous pages, an appendix of errors, 212 footnotes.
Facts:
John Adams - facts are "
stubborn things
"
-We will listen to those we don't agree with when they
overwhelm
us with evidence
confirmation bias
.
Wilson Article:
facts are respected even above differences in political thinking or ideology.
Facts should be
compelling
Allow the credibility of those sources reflect positively on you.
Ideal world - good info beats bad info
Real world - bad info is sometimes repeated too much and . . .
Test your source's credibility, and admit any problems right from the start - ethos.
Statistics
"Figures lie and liars figure"
It's completely possible to
lie
with numbers . . .
Numbers don't speak for themselves -
they need to be interpreted.
Unemployment
5%
15,000,000
Understand your role:
You
give numbers
voice
and
presence
Keteyian and USA Today
Surveys and Polls
In a democracy, majority rules.
"A government should do what most people want," right?
Polls are the closest thing we have to expressing the will of the people.
They provide expressive reasons for action or intervention.
However, always "push back" against any poll numbers - why?
Who commissioned the poll?
Who is publishing it?
Who was surveyed?
Who has a stake in the outcome?
Because, the result can change based on how the question is asked.
Things that matter:
1. Wording
2. Order of questions
3. Format
Friedman Foundation
Using Reason and Common Sense
In the absence of hard facts, arguments use . . . for support?
"Logic"
Most famous example of logic:
All human beings are mortal.
Socrates is a human being.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal
.
Here's the formula to know:
Enthymeme
= Claim + Reason.
These claims are based on
specific info
, so:
"We'd better cancel the picnic this afternoon because the weather bureau is predicting a 70% chance of rain for the remainder of the day."
They also include assumptions and fragments of
cultural info
that make it persuasive, so:
"Picnics are ordinarily held outdoors.
When the weather is bad, its best to cancel picnics.
Rain is bad weather for picnics.
A 70%chance of rain means that rain is more likely to occur than not.
When rain is more likely to occur than not, it makes sense to cancel picnics.
The weather bureau's predictions are reliable enough to warrant action."
But you would look
ridiculous
if you did this.
The previous example is easy, but not all enthymemes are
self-evident
.
"iPhones are undermining civil society by making us even more focused on ourselves."
Let's try some enthymemes to see how much info is in each. In other words, let's use "logic".
"I'll buy a PC laptop instead of a Mac because it's cheaper."
"Flat taxes are fair because they treat everyone the same."
Cultural Values and Assumptions
Logical

Structures
Degree
So common people barely notice them
"More of a good thing or less of a bad thing is better"
Examples:
"If I can get a ten year warranty on a humble Kia, shouldn't I get the same or better warranty from Lexus?
"Better a conventional war now than a nuclear confrontation later"
Analogies
def: explaining one idea or concept by comparing it to something else - similes and metaphors
"Life is a box of chocolates"
"War is hell"
Can be a complex or extended comparison
Precedent
Model:
"What was done in the past is a good/bad model for what we should do now"
Example:
"We never let your older sister have a car while she was in high school, so we're not about to let you have one either"
Q:
What realistic alternatives are there to ...?
Quiz:
1. Pre-write for 5 minutes.
2. Analyze the chart.
3. What claims (some contradicting), supporting reasons, and logical assumptions in support and opposition can you make?
4. 10 minutes:
Choose one claim, analyze it's effectiveness by citing evidence within the chart and relevant logical assumptions. You must also discuss its limitations (opposing logical assumptions).
Dickinson
Full transcript